(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe
"B" is for Biscotti
Suggestions for the best biscotti
Biscotti is similar to its European cousin "kamishbrot" or "mandelbrot" (which translates to "almond bread"). Mandelbrot is usually oil based (a concession to Jewish dietary laws). Biscotti can be butter based or oil based and relatively low in fat. Mandelbrot is usually filled with walnuts or almonds and flavored with a bit of cinnamon. Biscotti is usually crispier than mandelbrot due to a longer second baking.
Biscotti can be made "low fat". Flour content must be reduced somewhat. This results in a crisper, but tasty cookie. As well, recipes calling for butter can made with canola or vegetable oil without a noticeable difference in taste.
Parchment paper makes for less work (no pan greasing) and ensures biscotti won't stick to your baking sheet. It can be used for the first and second bake and beyond.
Commercial quality baking sheets are recommended. They provide for even heat distribution and are nice and roomy. For extra long biscotti, make one large sheet of batter. The cookies can be 7 to 10 inches in length for that "gourmet" look.
Use room temperature eggs and softened butter for better batters.
Recipes were tested with unbleached all purpose flour which is recommended for biscotti. Unbleached all purpose flour is recommended for most all cookie baking.
Use pure vanilla. Pure vanilla extract ties in flavors and rounds out simple tastes.
Bake biscotti in the upper third of your oven for even browning. If you want to bake two batches at once, use a pair of sheets for the bottom batch (one inside the other) to insulate it.
Do not overbake your biscotti. Biscotti continues to crisp as it cools. Take biscotti out of the oven as soon as it appears lightly colored and dry to the touch.
To avoid crumbling when slicing thin biscotti (for the second bake) wrap the whole dough sheet and freeze overnight. The next day, a serrated knife will produce thin slices. This technique is especially useful when the biscotti contains whole nuts.
Biscotti can be glazed with chocolate. Melt 8 ounces of semi-sweet or white chocolate (white chocolate wafers work best). Using a small icing knife, spread melted chocolate on one side of each cookie. Cool on rack for 2 to 4 hours until thoroughly firm. Otherwise, simply dip one end of each biscotti in melted chocolate - or, "double dip": dip one end, cool, then make a second "shallow" dip - one end dark, one end white. You can freeze glazed biscotti but the gloss of the chocolate will dull.
If you want a base biscotti recipe to experiment with, try the mandelbrot. Try: minced dried apricots, raisins, dried fruit, candied fruit, cinnamon, anise, fennel or poppy seeds, allspice, mace, citrus zest, ground toasted nuts, miniature dark or white chocolate chips.
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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